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Have LEGO dropped the ball on this year’s D2C sets?

I refrained from adding my view on the latest LEGO exclusive in yesterday’s press release, but personally I think this year the exclusive D2C sets have been found lacking and very overpriced. The Ghostbusters HQ was really good though we’re probably holding it in higher regard due to everything else released.

I found this year’s modular (the Brick Bank) lacking compared to earlier sets, with LEGO forgetting that these sets were/are aimed at adults who don’t care as much for play features. The actual building and overall design of the set suffered because of it IMO. The Batcave was/is a massive disappointment. The minifigures and Batmobile are ace, however the rest of the set I found lacking and again very overpriced for what you get. I don’t think it even looks great on display.

The less said about the Star Wars Hoth set the better. Personally I think the worse D2C set ever, though you can probably expect most reviews later this month to rip it to shreds. If you like this set then either you don’t own any of the previously released Hoth-related sets, or you need your eyes checking!

Lastly, the Minecraft set which LEGO say is aimed at children but what sort of parent is going to drop £170 on one set? (Or if they can afford to do so, would in their right mind do so?) LEGO seem to have seriously lost sight of who D2C sets are aimed at. I’ll go out on a limb and say on the whole AFOLS have little (to no) interest in Minecraft, and while they are popular sets for the target demographic, where are parents going to find £170 to drop on a large set like this in the middle of the year with summer holidays, expensive school trips etc coming up? I would love to have sat in on the meetings when they discussed this!

This year I’ve found LEGO have really lost sight of what sets worked well over the past few years and are churning out below par exclusive sets at silly prices. LEGO are obviously cashing in on their popularity and I know they’re a business with an aim of making money, but for the past few years they’ve at least offered us sets worth buying. And yes, I know we don’t have to buy them, (that’s exactly what I’ve done and I know I’m not alone), but I feel LEGO are on a slippery slope and have to be careful that they don’t oversaturate the market with below par sets. This year I’ve yet to spend a penny on LEGO and can honestly say I don’t see that changing anytime soon. As an AFOL, it’s easy to be blinded by the love/passion for our hobby, though so many are happy to waste their money (although I suppose it’s down to personal opinion at the end of the day!). However, I’m a working class adult and parent who isn’t flushed with money, so I have to really consider everything before dropping hard earned pennies on a luxury item. Personally, I’d rather take the family on a two week holiday than spend £100+ on a set that isn’t worth it and will only collect dust!

I’d be interested to hear if other AFOLs/adults also feel the same regarding the recent D2C sets. I’m probably being a bit too negative, but, before you reply, take a look at previous years where every D2C could easily have won set of the year. So far, this year has given us 3 which could actually be worst set of the year. Not a great start LEGO…

LEGO SYSTEM A/S

12 comments

  1. Bang on with the comments above only one i’ve been interested in is GBHQ and that was overpriced at full rrp!

    No interest in Minecraft, the Star Wars one is a bloody joke and just want the minifigs from the Batcave.

    Surely wiuldn’t it had been best to release a new wave of Minecraft sets that join together to make a village so you could buy them maybe in 4 seperate parts?????

    Let’s hope future D2C’s are better this year!!!

  2. Keith

    As a fan of City, I am happy to get these as long as there is a decent discount.

    But I am getting increasingly hacked off with gloats on social media for sets like GBHQ and the tumbler when in fact they are OK at best.

    I was going to get the Batcave, but decided that for the price I could have several City sets instead.

    I am now being more selective. City will always be bought regardless as this harks back to my memories of LEGOLAND. But I am not going to get sucked in with the hype over D2C anymore.

    Unless I can get it a a bloody good price I am staying well away. Biggest relief for me was never to have bought GBHQ….. waste of time and effort.

  3. Ferg

    I was happy enough with the Ghostbusters HQ and, while the Batcave is a bit…erm…bitty, I got it as a treat for myself. I tend to take these sets on a case by case basis and will be skipping Minecraft (just no interest in this one at all) or Hoth (for reasons covered in pretty much every review).

    Am happy to save a bit of money this year!

      • BenG32

        Please don’t think I’m being horrible, I’m not, this is just constructive criticism.

        As someone who contributes to a LEGO website, maybe you should know what Minecraft is. People come here for news and ‘expert’ opinions. Ignorance wasn’t cool at school, nor is it in real life.

        Minecraft is a video game where you can build whatever your imagination can come up with, basically a digital version of LEGO. That is why they go hand in hand, and that is why kids go mad for it.

        • Keith

          Thanks for your reply BenG32 and explaining it to me. I am informed.

          Everyone has their strengths and I prefer not to know about certain things as they simply have zero interest. If you note, I write mainly about City – which I know a bit about and other topics which I have a good bit of knowledge. I don’t write about stuff I do not know as indeed, it will make me look like a total arse.

          I like to be unaware – you may think it is not cool, but being detached from fads and crazes is quite refreshing as you are not caught up in the hype. I don’t have any interest in Minecraft, nor have had the need to understand what it is.

          Should the need arise over here on BF to muse about a subject that I don’t know too much about – like Dimensions and say Ninjago, then I will do the necessary homework for a clear and informative article.

          There are staff writers here on BF who have a far greater knowledge and thus pen a far better article. We can’t be experts about everything.

        • Keith

          Thanks for your reply BenG32 and explaining it to me. I am informed.

          Everyone has their strengths and I prefer not to know about certain things as they simply have zero interest. If you note, I write mainly about City – which I know a bit about and other topics which I have a good bit of knowledge. I don’t write about stuff I do not know as indeed, it will make me look like a total arse.

          I like to be unaware – you may think it is not cool, but being detached from fads and crazes is quite refreshing as you are not caught up in the hype. I don’t have any interest in Minecraft, nor have had the need to understand what it is.

          Should the need arise over here on BF to muse about a subject that I don’t know too much about – like Dimensions and say Ninjago, then I will do the necessary homework for a clear and informative article.

          There are staff writers here on BF who have a far greater knowledge and thus pen a far better article. We can’t be experts about everything.

  4. TheHappyJawa

    Totally agree with everything here! Like I’ve said a hundred times now: D2C is the one line where LEGO can forget about designing them for kids (and all the restrictions that come with that) and go wild with intricate details, complicated builds and piece counts for the AFOLs!
    But LEGO seem to have completely forgotten this :/

    Hopefully there will be a significant drop in sales for D2C this year to send them a message but with LEGO’s growing popularity this seems unlikely…

  5. badlego

    I was in a Lego store a couple of months ago and was surprised by the number of kids boasting about how many big sets they owned and how many little angels were getting a “big” set bought for them by parents. A Lego store only needs to sell 5 big sets and they’ve had a great day of sales. Unfortunately we’ll see more of these. Shame

  6. Bricker

    It started going wrong with the re-release of the Winter Toy Shop last year.

    The pricing has suddenly jumped (look at last year’s SW: TFA sets) which is probably why the brick count has disappeared from the boxes.

    Normally the SW Ultimate Collector’s Series are a must buy for me, but I have no interest in the Hoth set, especially as I already have most of it from previous smaller sets.

    It’s a disappoint that the sets are moving away from what were single buildings/dioramas into parts of scenes.

  7. JGoodchild

    Impossible to dispute that the forthcoming Hoth D2C is just an embarrassment. It looks like they actually went out of their way to avoid including anything that hasn’t appeared in at least two sets every year since 2004. Ghostbusters is more ambitious, and clearly has an identity: it’s a set I’d splash on, but only after a lottery win. For me, the big issue at the heart of the debate is the Batcave…people have been ripping this left, right and centre since the first fuzzy images skulked off YouTube, but it’s also the first D2C set I’ve actually bought (after only 35 years of Lego collecting), but of those people blasting it, how many actually own it? I will say that the minifigures and vehicles almost justify the asking price. I’ll also say that parts of the main build (the part room, main back wall and central computer console) are a nice build and they DO look good (unique with the wallpaper print bricks). And I’ll also say it’s a set that says ‘Add MOCs to me! Make me better!’ and I’ve enjoyed doing exactly that, because I think that that’s kind of the point of Lego: having a set you enjoy enough to do sustained work on.
    But there’s bad, too. It’s horribly overpriced. The main build is flimsy, with walls, sections, bricks, joining arches frequently falling off. The three components don’t connect well. As it stands, it doesn’t look like it’s all there: if you rotate them 360 degrees, not one of the three components – manor, computer lab and garage – looks like a whole…thing. And with characters (probably the omission of Batgirl bothers me the most) and vehicles (no Joker-mobile or Cat-cycle or Penguin boat) this has missed a lot of opportunities. So, oddly, I’ve actually been more impressed by sets like the Marvel SH Airport battle (brick built Giant Man is innovative, interesting and beautifully rendered, and the rest of the figures, vehicles and building are – collectively- a great showcase for Lego, and a fun build) and all four of the MUCH cheaper DCSH 2016 sets have little sparks of genius – the new rendition of Harley Quinn and the first Deadshot; Superman’s new hair piece; the new cockpit panels on Batwing and Batmobile – that have appealed to me much more than any part of the Batcave. I love the Batcave, and wouldn’t part with it, but I have to say that it’s flawed. Very flawed. So, yeah – as someone new to purchasing D2C, I feel let down by what I’ve bought, and appalled by the other D2C offerings. Unless I’m mistaken, these should be the gold standard of Lego sets, not just another set with some nice minifigures and/or vehicles. Lego can do better than this.

    • Bricker

      Actually thinking about the Batcave, what really annoyed me was with how it was sold.

      It had VIP early access with no other bonuses, then the next month they had double VIP points, and then this month they’ve had classic Mr Freeze on offer. VIPs were actually penalized for buying it early!

      I held off buying it just because leaks on the internet showed that Lego would offer Mr Freeze (which should’ve just been included in the set in the first place) at some point.

      OK, the quality of these sets has been disappointing, but some of the selling practices have been unforgivable.

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